What Is Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance—PITI?

Aug 05, 2022 By Susan Kelly

It all depends. Taxes and insurance are not included in all mortgage payments. Property taxes and insurance premiums are paid directly to the tax assessor in this situation.

All of the standard components of a mortgage payment—principal, interest, taxes, and insurance—are called PITI. By taking into account all monthly payments, PITI helps buyers and lenders assess how much they can afford to borrow.

The amount you owe on your principal loan is the sum you initially promised to repay. When a borrower takes out a loan, they are charged interest. A $100,000 mortgage with a 6-percent interest rate would have a combined principal and monthly payment of $599.55—$500 interest + $99.55.

Payroll tax and insurance (PITI) are factored into the front-end ratio. There are exceptions to this rule, but most lenders want a front-end ratio of 28 percent or less. If your gross monthly income is $6,000, then the front-end ratio of a $1,500 PITI is 25%.


A portion of each mortgage payment goes toward repaying the principal, which is the original loan amount, plus interest. Hence, on a $100,000 loan, the principal is $100,000. " Loans are set up so that the amount of principal that must be returned is initially low but rises with time.


To borrow money, the lender charges interest, which is also a form of compensation for taking a risk with its money. In the first few years of a mortgage, more of the payment goes toward interest than the principle; this ratio gradually shifts as the loan term progresses. If our $100,000 mortgage has a 6% interest rate, our monthly principal and interest payment will be $599.55—$500 in interest plus $99.55 in principal—over 30 years.


For example, municipal governments collect real estate or property taxes to pay for schools, police forces, and fire departments. Your monthly mortgage payment might include taxes because they are computed year-to-year, but the amount payable is split by how many mortgage payments you make in that year. Taxes are due, so the lender collects the payments and keeps them in escrow.


Insurance premiums, like real estate taxes, can be paid as part of the monthly mortgage payment and held in escrow until the time comes to pay the bill. PMI, which is required for consumers who put less than 20% down on a home, and homeowners insurance, which protects the property from fire, theft, and other disasters, are the two types of insurance coverage that may be included in the contract.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured house loans contain a mortgage insurance fee (MIP). MIP entails monthly payments and a substantial up-front cost like private mortgage insurance.

PTI's Role in Mortgages

To help the buyer and the lender estimate the affordability of a particular mortgage, PITI indicates the entire monthly payment. An applicant's PITI will be considered by a lender when determining whether or not they are a good risk for a home loan. To see if they can afford a certain home, buyers might add up their PITI.

The front-end ratio assesses the relationship between PITI and gross monthly revenue. However, a few lenders may allow customers to go as high as 30% or even 40% of their total loan amount. For example, a PITI of $1,500 to a gross monthly income of $6,000 has a 25 percent front-end ratio.

One way to measure a person's ability to keep up with their monthly payments is by looking at their debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. Most lenders prefer a back-end ratio of 36 percent or less. With a $1,500 down payment plus $400 in auto and $100 in credit card payments each month, the back-end ratio comes to 33% (PITI: $1,500 + $400 + $100/$6,000 = 33%).

When calculating reserve needs, some lenders employ PITI. In the case that a borrower loses income for a short period, lenders need that the borrower has enough money to cover the mortgage payments. Lenders frequently refer to reserve needs in terms of PITI multiples. A normal reserve requirement is two months' worth of PITI. The borrower from the previous example would need $3,000 in a bank account to get a mortgage if they were subject to this criteria.

Special Considerations

Taxes and insurance are not always included in the monthly mortgage payment. Borrowers may not be required to include these charges in their monthly mortgage payment if they have an arrangement with a particular lender. Homeowners in these situations pay insurance and property tax premiums directly to the insurance company and tax assessor. Only principal and interest are included in the monthly mortgage payment for a homeowner.

Even if property taxes and insurance premiums are not escrowed, most lenders consider these costs when determining front-end and back-end ratios. In addition, to calculate debt ratios, other monthly mortgage payments, such as HOA fees, may be included in PITI.

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